Today’s Scripture: O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:8-10

Pigs are messy. Someone once said, “Some people are like pigs. They can never look up until laid on their backs!”

Although this quote may seem strange, if you would examine a pig’s eyes, you will find that this is true. Their eyes are designed to look down.

Like pigs, so often we are victims of an earthward, downward gaze. But God, in His goodness, allows affliction by putting us on our backs that we might look up to Him.

Diamonds are made from carbon under intense pressure. Then they are mined, cut to shape, and polished.

Like the intense pressure which transforms what appears to be a worthless piece of carbon into diamonds, God takes bad and somehow does good with it.

Consider the value of steel:

A bar of steel is worth $5.

If made into horseshoes, it is worth $10.

If made into needles, it is worth $350.

If made into penknife blades, it is worth $32,000.

And if it is made into springs for watches, it is worth $250,000!

What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth a greater value. But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered and passed through the fire, the more it is beaten and pounded and polished, the greater its value.

Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most, and it is through the messy process of pain and suffering that God can get the most out of us.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.